The prestigious ANR award for the year 2012 was presented to Shyam Benegal at a function organized at N Convention Center in Hyderabad on the night of 9 February 2013. It was attended by Manish Tiwary (central minister for Information and Broadcasting), C Kiran Kumar Reddy, T Subbirami Reddy, ANR, Nagarjuna, K Viswanath, D Rama Naidu, Akkineni Venkat and Akkineni Amala.
ANR said, “I have entered the film industry around 75 years back. Film is my mother and my father. I was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1991. That is when I decided that I should start an award and give it to the deserving film personalities every few. I had incorporated a fund few years back and started giving an award on yearly basis. Popular and versatile personalities like Devanand, Shabana Azmi, Vyjayanthi Mala, Anjali Devi, Lata Mangeshkar, Bala Chandar and Hema Malani received this award in the past. This year I am honoring Shyam Benegal. Shyam Benegal is a native of Hyderabad.”
Hyderabad is India’s film capital now – Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal said, “Receiving an award from the doyen of Indian cinema in my home town is a truly humbling experience. I knew how difficult it was to break into Indian cinema by being a Hyderabadi. All our Telugu films were made in Madras. Everybody thought I was mad when I told them that I want to enter film industry. Only a couple of people from Hyderabad made it in Mumbai (Jayaraj and Chandra Sekhar). ANR has singlehandedly brought the entire film industry from Chennai to Hyderabad. He started Annapurna studios on 70’s and was instrumental in shifting film industry to Hyderabad. Hyderabad is the filmmaking capital of India now. I remember those days when I went to Annapurna studios and met ANR to rent a big crane for a week for my film Nishant. It was a perfectly maintained and peaceful studio unlike Mumbai film studios. I remember him picking up odd papers by hand in the gardens of Annapurna studios. I feel grateful and privileged to receive this award.”
CM Kiran Kumar Reddy said, “I am also an alumnus of Nizam College like Shyam Benegal. I am also a Hyderabadi and I am very proud that Benegal is also from Hyderabad. He has brought changes in society with his films. I used to watch his films when I was a kid.”
Manish Tiwari said, “Film industry has survived and is surviving despite of government. I am a lawyer by education. The people have power to disseminate information now and as a result the tolerance levels are shrinking. It’s a paradox. We need to be careful and vigilant. Shyam Benegal has increased the frontiers of Indian cinema with his films.”
Shyam Benegal has given ANR award more respect - Nagarjuna
Nagarjuna said, “On a lighter side, Kiran Kumar Reddy was my junior in Nizam college and I would have befriended him had I knew that he would become a chief minister one day. Shyam Benegal is a fantastic filmmaker. He has given ANR award more respect by accepting it.”